V: The Final Battle

1984

NBC

Part One

  • Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Peggy Goldman
  • Story by Lillian Weezer, Peggy Goldman, Craig Faustus Buck, Diane Frolov and Harry & Renee Longstreet

Part Two

  • Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Diane Frolov
  • Story by Lillian Weezer, Diane Frolov, Peggy Goldman and Craig Faustus Buck

Part Three

  • Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Faustus Buck
  • Story by Lillian Weezer, Craig Faustus Buck, Diane Frolov and Peggy Goldman

The humans make their final push to free Earth from the oppressive visitors.

Characters

Humans

  • Mike Donovan (Marc Singer)-cameraman who first photographs a Visitor ship and is now a Resistance leader.
  • Sean Donovan (Eric Johnston)-Mike’s son.
  • Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant)-doctor and Resistance leader.
  • Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell)-doctor and Resistance member.
  • Robin Maxwell (Blair Tefkin)-daughter of Robert and Kathleen.
  • Polly Maxwell (Viveka Davis)-daughter of Robert and Kathleen.
  • Elizabeth Maxwell (Jenny Beck)-Robin and Brian’s hybrid child.
  • Daniel Bernstein (David Packer)-leader in the Friends of the Visitors organization.
  • Eleanor Donovan Dupres (Neva Patterson)-Mike Donovan’s mother and collaborator.
  • Arthur Dupres (Hansford Rowe)-Eleanor’s husband and refinery manager.
  • Elias Taylor (Michael Wright)-small time criminal and brother of Ben and son of Caleb.
  • Caleb Taylor (Jason Bernard)-father of Elias and resistance member.
  • Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan)-ex-girlfriend of Mike Donovan and eventual Visitor spokesperson.
  • Ruby Engels (Camila Walsh)-Resistancemember and former actress.
  • Harmony Moore (Diane Civita)-food truck worker and girlfriend of Visitor Willie.
  • Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside)-mercenary.
  • Chris Farber (Mickey Jones)-mercenary.
  • Father Andrew Doyle (Thomas Hill)-priest. Resistance member.
  • Maggie Blodgett (Denise Galik)-fiancé of Mark. Spying on Daniel Bernstein for the Resistance as his lover.
  • Mark (Sandy Simpson)-Resistance member and former cop. Engaged to Maggie.

Visitors

  • Diana (Jane Badler)-ambitious Visitor scientist and high-ranking Visitor officer.
  • John (Richard Herd)-referred to as “Supreme Commander of the Visitor Fleet” by humans but is closer to an admiral.
  • Pamela (Sarah Douglas)-visitor Squadron Commander.
  • Steven (Andrew Prine)-Visitor officer.
  • Martin (Frank Ashmore)-Visitor officer and Fifth Column member.
  • Willie (Robert Englund)-Visitor tech originally assigned to the Middle East who is mistakenly sent to Los Angeles and has trouble with English. Harmony’s boyfriend.
  • Brian (Peter Nelson)-young Visitor officer. Father of Elizabeth.
  • Barbara (Jenny Neumann)
  • Lorraine (Greta Blackburn)
  • Jake (Stack Pierce)

V: The Final Battle is not a bad sequel but here the concept became more of an adventure story than a story about occupation and people dealing with it. We lost the Average Joe aspect which helped make the first miniseries something special. Every human character in the miniseries was now in the Resistance as opposed to before when it was civilians and Resistance fighters going up against the space Nazi Visitors. 

We lost a few average characters either prior to the story or during the course of the narrative. Where were Daniel’s parents Stanley (George Morfogen) and Lynn Bernstein (Bonnie Bartlett)? They were important in the first as they showed what it was like living under the fascist Visitor regime and their puppet states and dealing with collaborators. They were essentially prisoners to Daniel, but you do not see them until the closing minutes of the miniseries. I assumed they were dead, and Daniel had just taken over the house based. Daniel is seen in the house but never mentions them and then there they are for about five seconds.

What happened to Sancho Gomez (Rafael Campos)? He was the landscaper that smuggled around the Maxwells and was rescued from the Visitor ship by Mike Donovan. He was rather prominent but not even a throwaway line on his fate. He made it as far as the appearance of Ham Tyler and then that was it. Poof. I am not sure if he even got a line of dialogue.

I also draw issue with the addition of Father Andrew Doyle. It would have been more appropriate given that the Visitors were Space Nazis to have a rabbi perhaps if they wanted a religious figure. Since Doyle was hardened by his time dealing with rebels in Africa maybe have the rabbi having fought Nazis. Doyle only served to further distance this from the fascist themes as well as the Nazi parallels of the first film.

Harmony Moore had apparently worked out of a food truck in the first miniseries and was still doing so in the first half hour or so of The Final Battle but the moment she was captured along with Willie she was a stoic member of the Resistance group. This was despite the fact she did not see Willie himself as a threat and even pleaded for his safety. She struck me as the type of character that wanted to keep their head down and just get through it all. It was a rather abrupt change.

Diana was much more of a predator here than she was in the previous miniseries. Before she had just been a participant with power. Plotting and scheming but nothing really happening from it. Here she was power-hungry and ambitious and came off as willing to accomplish her goals. Jane Badler’s (could any actress playing a villain have a better name?) performance was very reptilian. This version of Diana is the one fans remember and justifiably so. Her presence was very intimidating.

The Visitor John seemed to have softened a little bit by the time of The Final Battle. Previously he had been as cold and as evil as Diana and here at the end he seemed very willing to throw in the towel and admit it was not all worth it. The guy that would be friendly to you while thinking how tasty you could be was gone.

Squadron Commander Pamela was a good addition to the cast, but her presence pushed things among the Visitors more towards the scheming of evening soaps from the time. It felt less like a military organization than it previously had. However this type of material is perfect for Sarah Douglas who played Pamela. Her performance keeps it from being hokey and she has never been bad when I have seen her play a villain.

I was really rooting for the Harmony and Willie romance. It was utterly adorable. I think Harmony’s death at the end while on the mothership was gratuitous. In fact, most of the deaths in here were gratuitous. Ruby died right after she bonded with Ham Tyler. Mark, whose girlfriend Maggie, was sleeping with Daniel in an effort to collect intelligence died in a raid right after they decided to get married. These are all lazy ways to create heart wrenching moments and was pretty common back then. It is heavy-handed and borders on hack. This technique was even parodied a few times in popular entertainment. I remember one scene in particular in the Schwarzenegger vehicle The Last Action Hero that hit the nail on the head with mocking the death of a side character that met a tragic end.

The hybrid twins were a great allegory to Nazi troops having children with those in occupied territories. That should have been explored to a greater extent than it was. They never delved too deep here in my opinion. Robin being angry and horrified was all the deeper it got.

For me the ending relied on a little bit too much on what I term “space magic.” By that here I mean somebody with some superhuman powers that makes the ending possible. In this case it was the young Elizabeth when Diana decided to set off the nuclear device to destroy Earth. They were completely unable to crack the code of the computer, but she had previously unindicated superpowers that were able to stop the countdown. Aside from rapid growth the kid had done nothing too special.  I am not saying it does not entirely work. What I am saying is it could have been a little more. I understand that Kenneth Johnson was no longer attached at this point so whatever plans he had went out the window.

As I said earlier, they minimized the themes of fascism here. It was mentioned a few times in part one of this miniseries but aside from Daniel making fun of a few students early on in the miniseries, parallels to what the Nazis did were all but forgotten. The Visitors are just there. It was more like a rebellion against the government than fighting Nazis.

But you know something? I did enjoy The Final Battle. Even though it was much more of an adventure yarn it was a fun and exciting adventure yarn. And it did manage to raise the stakes. Even if our heroes managed to stop the Visitors there was a very real chance humanity would go extinct anyway with a world destroying weapon being deployed. The story was still solid with fine acting and even a few good twists and some nice moments of comeuppance for characters. And the solution of the “red dust” was a way in theory that could keep Earth safe forever. They managed a satisfying finale that fans wanted.

What happened to Daniel was particularly good. Not only did they frame him for what happened to the Visitor Brian, but he became also became Visitor chow. Though a bit much, it was entertaining to see the two visitors dressed as butchers with a little bit of red on each overcoat.

With Brian you could not have asked for a more poetic ending. Blair Tefkin‘s acting was superb there. Her character just lost touch with reality and she was so cold and sinister as she got her revenge.

While not as thoughtful and as deep as the original miniseries, The Final Battle is a fun and exciting wrap-up to the storyline. It is an enjoyable watch and you will like this.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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